I’ve commented before on what seems to be a growing trend in game videos that seem to have no shame in showing lousy frame rates.
I’m rapidly going through the laughably short list of Xbox 360 game demos. On the one hand, the games can be incredibly pretty, but on the other hand frame rates between 5-12 seem to be normal for many of the games. Sure, some of the TV ads with sucky FPS, like CoD2, its a combination of a not-great FPS and the jerkiness of the camera panning system.
But Microsoft (MSGS) seem to have no shame about frame rates. You saw the (now pulled?) Flight Sim ads? “Very pretty, can it do double figure frame rates?”
And then there’s Viva Pinata. Apparently MSGS are trying to pad their demo selection; right now I’m watching the “demo” for Viva Pinata. True, it’s not exactly a video. It’s a series of videos linked together by narrator selections. But it sure as hell aint a demo. Sure enough, when you go to delete the content, it says “Interactive Video”.
But what really sucked was the frame rate. And this was a shrek-style animated video.
Now think about that a second – this wasn’t game-play footage, this was just game-characters pre-rendered as video footage. And the framerate sucked.
This gets me thinking. The Wii is supposed to be less cutting-edge pretty. I wonder if it has better FPS? I wonder if the problem is cost.
Does it cost so much to produce the pretty that the money that would make it run smoothly gets spent elsewhere in the budget? Could CoD3 only afford either to have a good FPS or buy itself a TV ad?
Perversely to what everyone who knows me thinks, I enjoy a good boxing game, and the 360 has a couple of excellent ones. But I just can’t enjoy an FPS with a noddy controller like the 360/PS3 have. I mean, c’mon: You can’t turn around and the devs provide ‘aim assist’ because they know you can’t aim precisely either. WTF? I mean, really: What the fuck?
I think the Wii needs the full backing of the gaming industry to send a clear signal to these console manufacturers: Overdumbed. I get that the PS2 generation are probably more adroit at playing the games, but those two factors alone (slow turn, can’t aim) tell you that the games are being dumbed down to little more than the old interactive videos that games like Firefox once were.
Watching the Red Steel and Call of Duty Wii ads on tv I notice two things:
1. Playing them looks fun. Try imagining how the ads would look if the guys were playing them on a 360. If it were me, I’d be sneering at the controller.
2. The action looks very fluid. Yes, it looks less pretty than the 360, but it looks smoother.
So where 6 months ago I thought that Nintendo had lost their minds, gambling on rethinking the controller rather than building the next Deep Blue of graphics, I’m actually thinking it might be time to Ebay the 360 and get myself a Wii for Xmas.